Title: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Airdate: April 15th, 2016
If you thought the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was funny and poignant, just wait until you see what the writers have delved into for the show’s second season. Kimmy, Titus, Jacqueline and Lillian each continue to grow in exponential ways, and not always in the manner that you might think. The continuation from first to the second season is really well grounded, with no character being left behind. For being the second season of an already fantastic show, the writers did an excellent job of keeping their audience still engaged and wanting more than just 13 new episodes.
Kimmy and Titus have one of the best relationships in the whole series, one that seems to work in an erratic sort of way. Even though Titus acts as if he only cares about himself, he repeated shows in interactions that he will go out of his way to help Kimmy and that he does care about her. While Kimmy does get on Titus’ nerves at times, the two roommates have created a sort of family for themselves out of their tenancy together, one that includes Lillian as well. Considering each of these characters has no real family that they regularly interact with, their relationships with each other become the most important in the series. That is not to say that there are not other vital connections the main characters make this season. Kimmy makes a new friend while holding on to several old ties, and Titus begins to have a real, solid romantic relationship for the first time.
Ellie Kemper is perfect in the role of Kimmy. Kimmy’s actions are somewhat reminiscent of Kemper’s old character Erin on The Office, as they are both rather quirky in their own way. However, Kimmy continues to gain more development throughout the season, giving her a lot more depth and several insightful moments. Her actions never feel out of character, no matter how ridiculous they might be. This season, Kimmy deals with her lost love with Dong (Ki Hong Lee), her bottled emotions about the bunker and even her mother’s abandonment of her. She also helps her friends in their own endeavors, including her new therapist/friend played by Tina Fey. Kemper is able to accurately portray Kimmy’s kind, naive innocence very well, even as she brings about more depth in Kimmy’s emotions and the way she handles them.
Titus (played by Tituss Burgess) is another standout in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In this season, he has begun to have more people he cares about, particularly his new boyfriend Mikey. We also get to see more of Titus’ past as a surprised woman shows back up in his life, demanding all his money. While Titus got some development in the first season, I mostly just saw him as a funny side character in Kimmy’s life, one that acted selfishly. He is kind to Kimmy only on occasion, and usually only if it will benefit him in the long run. However, as Titus faces more problems and starts to be a bit more open with people, he has real moments of identifiable empathy. We see that Titus does care about his friends, and is willing to sacrifice some of his pride to help them. And Titus has some of the most entertaining scenes in the show with his great voice and dramatic personality.
Lillian and Jacqueline get their moments to shine as well. Lillian is fighting against the gentrification of her neighborhood, and struggling to find a way to make people care about saving it. This provides for a lot of humorous moments, but also gives the landlord more of a role in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Jacqueline experiences some of the most radical character growth this season, as she begins living with her parents again. She tries to get in touch with her roots but soon discovers that she can do more good by being herself than by trying to fit in. Even with this lesson early on in the season, she continues to go back and forth on what she should do with her life.
Each of the characters in this show deals with their past in their own way, and by the season finale, they have all come to a place they can be happy with. By the end of the show, we get to finally meet Kimmy’s rollercoaster-addicted mother. Kimmy has had a traumatic past, and her mother was a more of a catalyst than she originally thought, so Kimmy confronts her in order to heal. The 13th episode of Season 2 is full of questions for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but by its end, the characters have overcome their trials, each in their own way. And the small teaser at very end promises another wacky, meaningful season to come for Kimmy and her friends. I am already curious to see where the writers will be taking the show next.
It is truly amazing how good Season 2 turned out. The entire cast is full of actors that give great performances and make the whole thing seem entirely believable. Nothing is forgotten in the grand scheme of the show, with even minuscule details from the beginning of Season 1 finding a way to resurface in some way. Each episode finds some way to move the main story forward but does so in a subtle way that still allows for a random, hilarious and short feeling. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is truly a gem, one with a great message on how to get through trauma and come out alright. All that’s left to say is this – if this show doesn’t win all the awards, I will be extremely disappointed.
- Characters: Every individual in this show has meaning, and no one is forgotten. Kimmy and Titus stand out as two of the best characters. Lillian and Jacqueline get more depth and grow in their own way.
- Cinematography: Pretty standard but quality. Much like the first season’s camera angles.
- Story: Kimmy and her friends go through many dilemmas, and still manage to make everything hilarious. The second season especially is funny but important, showing how trauma can be overcome and dealt with.
- Acting: Ellie Kemper really embodies Kimmy and brings her to life. Tituss Burgess also does an excellent job – his one-liners and songs are something to look forward to every episode.
- Kimmy/Titus combination is perfect
- Character development for all
- Important themes surrounding trauma
- Really genuinely funny
- Not enough of Ki Hong Lee as Dong